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Sunday images from the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix
NEWS

#HiFive for Lewis Hamilton: 2018 FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Champion

Oct 292018

Lewis Hamilton took his place alongside Formula One legend, Juan Manuel Fangio, after being crowned F1 world champion for a fifth time. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team driver finished fourth in a spectacular Mexican Grand Prix, where he scored the necessary points to secure the title with two races to spare.

Emotional Lewis celebrated by doing donuts in his F1 W09 EQ Power+ Silver Arrow before hugging each member of his Silver Arrows team and thanking them for their efforts. It has been a difficult season for the British racing driver, as the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team had a tight battle with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis was quick to praise the work from the 900-strong workforce at the team's HQ in Brackley, England.

Lewis said: "Right now, this doesn't feel real. It feels like I am going to wake up. I don't know if it is ever going to kick in. It hasn't kicked in right now. I hope it kicks in soon. It has been such a difficult year. A tough battle with lots of hard work. To raise the bar from last season has been tough mentally and I have to work hard to make sure I have the right balance in my life. Somehow, I managed to find that balance and that flow and had one of the best championships of my career.

"I have always had this ability to drive ever since I was young but I have been trying to raise the bar. Through the year there was a lot of testing times for us, even on weekends where we didn't have the package and then came away with that belief within the team that we could come away with something good, we'd come away with wins even though we weren't the quickest.

"It took some special laps, some special moments within the car, I could re-live those moments all the time. Some of those experiences this year were really magical.

"I truly believed that we could win this championship but it has been the toughest battle we've had collectively as a team. There's so much work that goes on in the background, the guys in the garage have just been flawless every weekend with the pit stops, with the decision making, strategy, and set-up. That's been key ultimately for me, I feel like I can drive anything and take the car to places that nobody else can, but to do that you have to get the car in the right place. So you have to work with the team to help unleash what's great within them so you can unleash the greatness within yourself."

 

With the drivers' championship now wrapped up, Lewis has promised to help the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team retain the constructors' championship in the final two races of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. After being crown champ in Mexico City.

 

Lewis added: "I had some of the best races of my career, and that's why I'm sitting here as champion. It doesn't even register at the moment being number five, getting my first was amazing, the third was incredible. Right now it's very humbling as well, I'm quite conflicted emotionally, and this tough race I wanted to win, I had great start, it went from good to bad. I'm still fourth, not a bad finish, what we needed, but we've still got a team championship to win. In Mexico, we lost some points to Ferrari, I wanted to deliver for the team, we've still got two races to win.”

Meanwhile, Lewis's teammate Valtteri Bottas, was quick to praise the landmark achievement after playing a supporting role once his own championship hopes were extinguished.

 

Valtteri, who finished fifth, said: "Big congratulations to Lewis. He's had another strong season, especially in the second half, and really deserved this title. When I lost my opportunity for the title this year, I tried to help him a little to win the world championship, but I'm already looking forward to fight again next year.”

 

Team principal & CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Toto Wolff, wrapped things up by saying: "Usually, we don't acknowledge greatness until someone's career is over, but we need to take a moment to recognise its presence - Lewis has now equalled Fangio's record and there aren't many like him out there! Lewis has been the differentiator this season - our car was the fastest at times, but not always; sometimes, like today, it was only the third-fastest. And yet Lewis' performance was always was very stable, his race craft was absolutely great. It has always been one of his strengths, but this year it was definitely one of the key factors of his success. We're very happy about Lewis' fifth drivers' title and our fifth in a row as a team, but the job is not done yet. There's a constructors' championship out there that we still want to win.”

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